There was once a time when most of us were listening to music on cassette tapes, when brands interacted with consumers only in focus group facilities and information was gathered via phone surveys. Today, the options to engage with customers are boundless. Technology’s rapid growth birthed a new wave of advancement. Everything from our dog’s collar to our refrigerator is “smart” and while technology continues to advance, it begs the question, “Are brands any smarter in the way they are growing their bottom line?” The truth might hurt some.
When it comes to today’s mothers, the tactic for engagement with the greatest return on investment can be found in consumer communities. These groups may conjure up images of brand ambassadors or in-house research panels but what I am referring to is a community of moms with each one screened for influence, brand enthusiasm, social reach and interest in contributing to the growth of the brand.
Its members socialize with each other as well as with brand representatives in a private online community and provide more than just insights or sales support. These women are an extension of the brand. They are available for insights whether the request for input is coming from engineers, retail designers or product development teams. They earn exclusive sneak-peeks and product previews and some even receive flowers from the brand on their birthdays.
Moms in the consumer community actively support the goals of the brand by posting about new products, bringing PR opportunities to the company and most importantly defending the brand among their peers if crisis management is needed. Brands such as Chick-fil-A, HP, Disney, LeapFrog and Medtronics have benefited from creating mom consumer communities. HP’s Sprocket sold out during the 2016 holiday season after tweens and moms in their community helped engineers develop the handheld photo printer and then promoted it to friends and peers when it launched. Here are five ways a consumer community can boost your bottom line:
As brand leadership continues to look for ways to get more out of their investment, we will see more brands creating consumer communities with moms. When done right, it provides easy and direct access to insights, deeper relationships with social influencers and cost-savings to bringing innovative products to market.
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